Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the redevelopment of the Loxton Research Centre forms part of the Australian Government’s $25 million South Australian Regional Economic Development Element commitment of the South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program.
“The National Partnership Agreement on South Australian River Murray Sustainability Programme commits $265 million of Australian Government funding to the South Australian Government to support a healthy working Murray-Darling Basin,” Mr Truss said.
“The redevelopment will deliver a new state-of-the-art research centre bringing the community, industry and researchers together to showcase the region’s premium food and wine.”
South Australian Minister for Regional Development Geoff Brock said Riverland workers stood to benefit through the creation of local jobs created over the life of the construction.
“The State Government recently announced changes to the Industry Participation Policy increasing the minimum weighting for local jobs within tender evaluations to 15 per cent for Government contracts worth $220,000 and above,” Mr Brock said.
“This initiative is aimed at supporting companies who employ South Australian workers when bidding for government work.
“The redevelopment of the Loxton Research Centre has been designed to provide new opportunities at a national and international scale, such as encouraging innovation, demonstrating SA’s expertise and services in arid zone irrigation and attracting international conferences and investment.
“The redevelopment will help South Australia to build on its reputation and market edge as a leader in premium food and wine production from our clean environment,” Mr Brock said.
Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said local industry bodies are keen to band together to use the Loxton Research Centre as a business hub, as well as a point of collaboration between industry and researchers.
“Berri based Michael Kregar Building Pty Ltd will manage mainly local sub-contractors to deliver construction of the new building,” Mr Pasin said.
“The redevelopment also includes the refurbishment of the existing building with around 90% of the work completed so far by local contractors.”